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OSRS Presents…Marks on Society
December 7, 2019 – February 8, 2020
Opening Reception:  Friday, December 6, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Over time, graffiti in the real world finds itself in a continuous state of rebirth. Older work fades away as new work is created in its place. In this spirit of regeneration, Marks on Society will also be updated as new work will be painted over old work. Stop by the Carnegie after January 14th and 28th to see changes made to the exhibition.


The Carnegie Center for Art and History is pleased to host OSRS Presents… Marks on Society, a graffiti-inspired art exhibition December 7, 2019 through February 8, 2020. Often Seen Rarely Spoken (OSRS), a Louisville-based art and design collective, presents work by some of the best graffiti artists in the area for an exhibition that will be altered and updated during the course of the show. The exhibition public opening reception will be held Friday, December 6 at 6:00 PM, with a special Carnegie Members-only curator talk with the Often Seen Rarely Spoken collective at 5:30 PM.

By highlighting the artistry, people, and process of the graffiti art form, Marks on Society will challenge stereotypes of street art and transform the museum space. Gallery text and programs will share the history of graffiti, terms and lessons on different styles, materials, culture, and intentions of artists.

OSRS is comprised of member artists, Jacob Duncan, Jeremy Lewis, Ian Muldoon, and Max Thomas. Collectively, they started a full-time mural painting business by utilizing skills developed from their own street art experiences. They have created work in Louisville for Churchill Downs, Home of the Innocents, and are currently working on a project with the City of Louisville’s Public Art Program. Through their personal connections, OSRS has invited artists who also have a history with graffiti to create new work for Marks on Society.

The title is derived from a New York City anti-graffiti campaign (“Make your mark in society, not on society”) promoted by former mayor Ed Koch. Since that 1982 campaign to fight the scourge of the city, graffiti has risen in stature, finding a much wider audience of admirers. Proof of this new status is readily seen with any number of multi-national corporations co-opting graffiti in their marketing campaigns and product designs to sell everything from French fries to t-shirts. But with the street artists working in their natural environment, graffiti can still be seen as a hotly debated topic.

Bringing graffiti into the museum provides an opportunity to celebrate the talents of artists working the genre. It also offers a chance for people who identify as art lovers, but maybe not fans of graffiti, to broaden their understanding of the work while on display in a familiar environment.




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